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Erdogan Says Turkey Alone Will Decide on Any Decision for Cross-Border Incursion

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara alone will make any decision on launching a cross-border incursion into northern Iraq to pursue Kurdish rebels.

In Romania Thursday, Mr. Erdogan said the United States may not want Turkey to carry out such an operation, but Ankara will make the decision on what has to be done. Turkey blames rebels with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, for launching deadly attacks in southeastern Turkey from bases in northern Iraq.

In other developments, Turkish President Abdullah Gul says Ankara is running out of patience and will not tolerate the rebel attacks. Speaking at a regional meeting in the Turkish capital, Mr. Gul says Turkey is determined to take the steps necessary to end the threat from the rebels based in northern Iraq.

A high-level Iraqi delegation arrived in Turkey Thursday for talks with Turkish officials aimed at diplomatically defusing the mounting crisis. The sides are to meet Friday.

Turkish officials say the military has fired at Kurdish rebel positions inside northern Iraq since Sunday, when a rebel ambush near the border killed 12 Turkish soldiers.

In other developments, a Turkish court canceled a media black-out on the ambush. The government had argued reports on the topic would have a negative impact on public order and morale.

Today in Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana called for a peaceful solution to the crisis and said the territorial integrity of Iraq is "fundamental."

The European Union and the United States have urged Ankara to refrain from launching a military incursion into Iraq to counter the rebels. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she has urged Iraqi Kurdish leaders to crack down on PKK rebels.

The PKK has been fighting for Kurdish autonomy in southeastern Turkey since 1984. More than 30,000 people have died in the conflict.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.